Ode To Stephen Malkmus, to Pavement, and to 'Slanted And Enchanted'

I always thought of Stephen Malkmus more as a poet who happened to play in a rock n' roll band, as opposed to a guy who wrote poetic lyrics for a rock band.

I am not sure when I heard Pavement's 'Slanted And Enchanted' for the first time. It was my first or second year out of high school. Up until that point, growing up in suburban Columbus, Ohio, I was pretty much raised, musically speaking, on bad hair metal and even worse hip hop. And being the painfully shy, not so adventurous soul that I was, I had no idea where to broaden my musical horizons, or even if such a thing was possible. If it wasn't played on MTV did it even exist? Then somebody at Ohio State must have seen the sad musical state that I was in and let me borrow Pavement's debut record, 'Slanted And Enchanted'. It was so wonderfully weird. The lyrics were so abstract, the guitars were so fuzzy and so beautifully out of tune...It was love at first listen. It was definitely my gateway into music that was slightly left of center. Shortly thereafter came to my ears The Replacements, Sebadoh, REM, The Pixies, and on and on and on, and a music lover was born.

I have wondered at times where I would be if this record hadn't found it's way into my life, but the possibilities were actually frightening...so i don't like to dwell on it, but instead just enjoy these incredible songs as often as possible and at the maximum level my old ears can withstand!

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